COLUMN ONE HUNDRED, DECEMBER 1, 2003
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
MEMORIAL FOR ANGEL
MATTHEW (ANGEL) REMAK
I had the sad task the
other night of attending a memorial for the late Matthew (Angel) Remak, a
talented writer whose fire-in-the-belly for the literary art actually led him to
escape the monkey on his back. I'm proud to say Angel's name is listed among
the authors who've contributed to THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST.
Yes, Angel got rid of the
monkey and walked into the path of the worst killer-drug of them
all---alcohol---that is to say the alcohol in the sodden brain of an speeding driver out for a night of roadkill in the family Lexus. I've learned to
dislike junkies, but I consider junkies saints compared to drunken drivers.
Obviously, Angel died too
soon. This memorial was held on Manhattan's Ludlow Street in The Collective
Unconsciousness, one of those joints in which Angel used to read his poems to an
audience of other poets. And in which those other poets acclaimed him an
emerging future star. It was in this club and before a group of those very same
poets that I stood up and read into the microphone THAT
DAY---Angel's tone poem describing September 11, 2001, as seen through the
eyes of a junkie longing to express himself.
I never met him," I
told those poets at the Collective Unconscious that night. "We just talked on
the phone a couple of times."
I told how it was a West
Coast friend, Carl Macki, a sort of literary talent scout, who had turned me on
to Angel. Carl sent me MY
DAY WITH HEATHER and THAT
DAY. The only junkies I can stand are junkies whose art ennobles us. I
thought Angel was that kind of junkie. After all, y? gotta have at least a
little bit of literary charisma before THE BLACKLISTED JOURNALIST will publish
But I advised Angel to kick
his addiction. Junk is not only hell for whoever uses it, but it is also hell
for all those around him. I was gratified to learn that he eventually emerged
clean and happy.
Yes, Angel died much too
soon. And a promising future is left an orphan!
Here's a story about
Angel's death from The Marin Independent Journal:
A Novato resident who was a stockbroker and poet died
early Sunday morning after he was struck by a car in San Francisco.
Matthew Remak, 30, was crossing Van
Ness Avenue at Sacramento Street at 1:43 a.m. when the light changed, San
Francisco Police reported.
car in the right-hand line swerved to avoid hitting Remak, who was then struck
by a car in the middle lane, according to police. The driver, Matthew Wyman, 29,
of San Francisco, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving under the
influence, according to Officer Maria Oropeza of the San Francisco Police
Department. Charges could be filed by the district attorney's office pending an
Remak, the victim's father, said he was told his son was thrown more than 100
feet and that a doctor at the scene said he died instantly.
It was really tragic," said Joel Remak of New York. "He was
presumably catching the last Golden Gate Transit bus back to Marin."
Witnesses told police Remak was dancing as he crossed
the street and was only partially across the roadway when the light turned
Jesse Remak, 22, said his brother was a talented poet
and writer, as wall as a licensed stockbroker but was not employed at the time
of his death.
He was really focusing on his writing," Jesse
"He was one of the most brilliant people I ever met."
Matthew Remak, who was enrolled m the Novato Unified
School District's Nova Independent Study program and later earned his general
equivalency diploma before he began studying the stock trade, performed his
works in clubs in the East Village in New York City.
He wrote about the noir side of his life in San Francisco and New
York," Joel Remak said. "He was a renaissance man."
In addition to his father and his brother, Jesse, of Santa Barbara, Matthew
Remak is survived by his mother Kathy, of Novato; and by brother Michael of
Kathy Remak said her son in January had returned to
Novato, where he grew up, and was taking classes the College of
Matthew is very artistic, has a genius I.Q. he had
some difficulties but his life had been wonderful," Kathy Remak
A memorial is set for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Chapel of the Hills at 330
Red Hill Ave. in San Anselmo.
A poetry reading will follow from 2 to 4 pm. at the
Panama Hotel & Restaurant at 4 Bayview St. in San Rafael.
The restaurant was opened by Matthew's grandmother,
Mimi Rabinowitz, in 1977.
Guests are invited to bring their own readings, as
well as to hear Matthew Remak's poems read by his family.
Donations can be made in his memory to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. ##
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